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Groves named ministry-level finalist for national award in China

China’s Ministry of Land and Resources has named WKU Hydrogeologist Chris Groves as a finalist for the 2012 People’s Republic of China Friendship Award, that country’s highest award honoring foreign experts working in China.

The Ministry has now submitted Dr. Groves’ name to the national China Foreign Expert Office for consideration at the highest level, the results of which are announced each year in late September prior to the award ceremony in Beijing that coincides with China’s National Day.

Chris Groves

Chris Groves at the entrance to Yunan Cave.

Fifty individuals from around the world are selected each year for the honor, which is given to “foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress.”

The Ministry’s nomination cites Dr. Groves’ efforts in three areas: 1) leadership in building United Nations scientific programs in water resources, 2) efforts to enhance water resources development in poverty-stricken areas of rural southwest China, and 3) providing opportunities for the advancement of Chinese scientists.

Dr. Groves, who directs WKU’s Hoffman Environmental Research Institute, first travelled to China with his wife Deana in 1995 on a WKU exchange program led by Dr. Wei Ping Pan of WKU’s Institute for Combustion Science and Environmental Technology.  On that trip they travelled to the Institute of Karst Geology in Guilin, and since have been working closely with scientists and students there and elsewhere in the country.

Geography and Geology Department Head David Keeling noted that “Dr. Groves expertise on and commitment to China and its water resources are widely recognized in the scientific community.  This nomination to be recognized as a Foreign Expert is a wonderful testament to Chris’ long-term involvement in China and his efforts to improve the quality of life for millions of Chinese.”

Contact: Chris Groves, (270) 745-4555.

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